Ranbaxy has reported net income of 3.32 billion rupees, or around $72 million, for the second quarter, down from 6.93 billion rupees in the like, year-earlier period, but well ahead of analysts' estimates.

Sales climbed 22% to 21.03 billion rupees, driven by a doubling of turnover in North America to 7.38 billion rupees. The latter was boosted by the successful launch of its generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s herpes drug,Valtrex (valacyclovir).

Sales in Europe were up 15% to 3.20 billion rupees, while in India, revenues were flat at 4.49 billion rupees. Ranbaxy, which is majority-owned by Daiichi Sankyo, added that it made 32 filings worldwide in the quarter and said it continues to “co-operate with the US Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Justice for early resolution of all outstanding issues”.

Two years ago, a US import ban was placed on 30 of Ranbaxy’s generics over "ongoing procedural violations in manufacturing" at the Gurgaon-based firm’s Dewas and Paonta Sahib facilities. The company now says its facilities have undergone inspections by other regulators, and “Ranbaxy remains compliant for supply”.

However the results were somewhat overshadowed by the news that chief executive Atul Sobti is stepping down from the post. Announcing the financials, Mr Sobti had been upbeat, saying “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for reposing their confidence, and being part of this enriching journey”.

Those thanks were swiftly followed by a statement from Ranbaxy saying that Mr Sobti will step down as CEO and managing director effective August 19. He will be replaced in the latter role by Arun Sawhney, president of the company’s global pharmaceutical business, though no mention was made of a CEO replacement.

Mr Sobti, who only took over as chief executive in May 2009, told a news conference that his resignation stemmed from "a difference of opinion" with Daiichi Sankyo, which owns a 64% stake in Ranbaxy. He did not give any more details.